The Benefits of Hilton Honors Elite Status [Silver, Gold, and Diamond]

Full Disclosure: We may receive financial compensation when you click on links and are approved for credit card products from our advertising partners. Opinions and product recommendations on this site are ours alone, and have not been influenced, reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details. We appreciate your support!

The Hilton brand was founded in 1919 when Conrad Hilton purchased his first hotel in Texas. Since that time, many things have changed with the brand, including the introduction of the Hilton Honors loyalty program in 1989. As of 2018, Hilton has 586 properties in 85 countries serving business and leisure travelers alike, much like the Marriott Bonvoy program.

One of the many benefits of the Hilton Honors program is free breakfast. For those who earn Gold status, breakfast is included as a benefit, among other benefits. This can mean substantial savings, particularly in markets where dining out adds up to a material amount of spend.

We’ll dive into all of the details you’ll need to know about the program in this Hilton Honors elite article. You’ll walk away with an understanding of both the loyalty program and associated benefits. Most importantly, you’ll be able to determine which, if any, elite tier makes sense for you to earn.

Hilton Honors Elite Status Levels

BenefitsMember

0-9 nights/year

Silver Elite

10-39 nights/year

Gold Elite

40-59 nights/year

Diamond Elite

50-74 nights/year

Points Towards Free NightsX20%80%100%
No Resort Fees on Award StaysXXXX
Late CheckoutXXXX
Fifth Standard Rewards Night FreeXXX
2 Bottles of WaterXXX
Elite Tier Rollover NightsXX
Space Available Room UpgradeUp to Executive Room TypeUp to 1-Bedroom Suite Room Type
Complimentary Breakfast at all hotelsXX
Unlimited Milestone BonusesXX
Executive Lounge AccessX
Diamond Status ExtensionX
48-Hour Room GuaranteeX
Elite Status GiftingX

Hilton Honors Silver

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills Hilton
Redeem Hilton points for stays at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. Image Credit: Hilton

Silver status is the lowest elite tier in the Hilton Honors program. One way a member can earn this status is by completing 4 stays or 10 nights. Another way to earn this status is to hold the Hilton Honors American Express Card. It’s a benefit of this credit card so simply having this credit card gives you Silver status.

Fifth Night Free

When redeeming points for a stay, Silver members receive a fifth night free. This benefit is available for reward stays up to 20 nights. If you find yourself booking longer stays, this benefit can add up to substantial point savings.

20% Bonus

Members with Silver status receive a 20% bonus on the base points that you earn. Silver members earn 12 points per dollar spent versus 10 points per dollar spent for a Member.

Hot Tip: The 20% Silver bonus equates to 2 more points per dollar spent than a Hilton Honors Member.  

Bottled Water

For stays at Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacation Hotels, LXR, the Tapestry Collection, and Waldorf Astoria, members receive 2 complimentary bottles of water. Stays at Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, and Home2 Suites exclude this as a benefit.

Bottom Line: The elite benefits for Silver members are limited. If you’re wanting more value from the Hilton Honors program during your stays, consider earning or holding credit cards that come with Gold or Diamond elite status. 

Hilton Honors Gold

Conrad Bora Bora Nui Hilton
Conrad Bora Bora Nui can be a great place to redeem your Hilton points. Image Credit: Hilton

Gold status is the middle elite tier in the Hilton Honors program. Members earn Gold status in 2 ways. One way is to have 20 stays, 40 nights, or 75,000 base points in a calendar year ($7,500 in spend). A second way to earn Gold status is by holding certain credit cards.

Cardmembers of the Platinum Card® from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Ascend, and Hilton Honors American Express Business card receive Gold status as a benefit.

Keep in mind that Gold includes all of the benefits of Silver.

Preferred Room Upgrade

Subject to availability, Gold members receive upgrades to a preferred room up to Executive Floor room types (read: suites are excluded) at Canopy, Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Hilton, LXR, the Tapestry Collection, and Waldorf Astoria.

The caveat with upgrades is that the upgrade is only for 1 room. If you book multiple rooms for your stay, only 1 room is available for an upgrade. Embassy Suites, Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites, and Tru are excluded.

80% Bonus

An 80% bonus is what you’ll earn as a Gold member. This bonus percentage equates to an additional 8 points per dollar spent than a Hilton Member. Gold members earn 18 points per dollar spent versus 10 points per dollar spent for a Member. Stays at Home2Suites earn 4 additional points per dollar spent.

Points or Breakfast

Continental breakfast for the member and 1 guest at Canopy, Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Hilton, LXR, the Tapestry Collection, and Waldorf Astoria is a Gold member benefit. Hot cooked-to-order breakfast is offered at Hilton Garden Inn. If the Member doesn’t want breakfast, you can elect to earn 500-1,000 bonus points depending on the property.

Hot Tip: For those who value breakfast, this is one of the top benefits for members who earn Gold status. What’s interesting to note is that luxury brands like Waldorf Astoria offer breakfast to Gold members. Breakfast at luxury brands can be expensive, so this benefit offers the potential for substantial savings during your stay. 

Milestone Bonus

When a member stays 40 nights, the member will earn 10,000 bonus points for every 10 additional nights beyond 40 nights with no cap. On the sixtieth night in a calendar year, the member will earn an additional 30,000 bonus points, in addition to the 10,000 bonus points that member will earn at 60 nights.

For those of you familiar with the World of Hyatt program, Hyatt offers a similar milestone structure. The key difference is that the World of Hyatt program offers a cash or points option, among other benefits, when milestones are achieved.

Points or Amenity

For stays at hotels that do not include breakfast, Hilton offers Gold members the following benefits:

  • 500 bonus points or 2 snack/refreshment choices at Embassy Suites
  • 250 bonus points or 1 snack and non-alcoholic beverage at Hampton Inn and Tru
  • 250 bonus points or 2 bottles of water and snack at Homewood Suites
  • 100 bonus points or 1 snack and 1 bottled water at Home2 Suites
  • 1,000 bonus points at Hilton Grand Vacations

Bottom Line: Upgrades and breakfast are 2 elite benefits that can be useful for Gold members. While room upgrades to suites are not included, upgrades to preferred rooms can make your stay more comfortable. 

Hilton Honors Diamond

Waldorf Astoria Park City Hilton
Leverage the Hilton program by using your points to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Park City. Image Credit: Hilton

Diamond, the top tier status in the Hilton Honors program, can be earned 3 ways:

  1. 30 stays, 60 nights, or 120,000 base points ($12,000 in spend) in a calendar year
  2. Spend $40,000 on the Hilton American Express Ascend Card or The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
  3. Hold the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Diamond also includes all of the benefits of Silver and Gold.

Preferred Room Upgrade

Subject to availability, Diamond members receive upgrades to preferred rooms, including “junior,” “standard,” or “1-bedroom” suites. Executive suites, villas and specialty accommodations/floors/towers upgrades are excluded. Upgrades are only for 1 room and do not include any additional rooms booked by the member. Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton, Tru, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites, and Hilton Grand Vacations do not offer upgrades.

Hot Tip: The key difference with upgrades between Gold and Diamond members is that suite upgrades are included as a benefit for Diamond members. 

100% Bonus

A 100% point bonus is what you’ll earn as a Diamond member. This equals 10 more points per dollar than what a Member would earn. Diamond members earn 20 points per dollar spent versus 10 points per dollar spent for a Member.

Points or Welcome Amenity

Diamond members receive these additional benefits at the following properties:

  • 1,000 bonus points or 3 snack/refreshment choices at Embassy Suites
  • 250 bonus points or choice of 1 snack and 1 non-alcoholic beverage at Hampton
  • 250 bonus points or choice of 1 snack and 2 bottles of water at Tru
  • 250 bonus points or 2 bottles of water and 1 sweet snack at Homewood Suites
  • 100 bonus points or choice of 1 snack and 1 bottled water at Home2 Suites
  • 2,000 bonus points per stay at Hilton Grand Vacations

Executive Lounge Access

Executive floor lounge access is offered to Diamond members at Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Hilton, LXR Hotels, and the Tapestry Collection. Some of the lounges at these properties offer hors d’oeuvres and alcoholic beverages that are available at designated times during the day.

Premium Internet

Stays at Canopy, Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites, the Tapestry Collection, Tru, and Waldorf Astoria include premium internet access.

Hot Tip: It’s important to note that complimentary internet is offered to Silver and Gold members during their stay.

48-Hour Guarantee 

On paper, Hilton offers a 48-hour guarantee for Diamond members. However, when you read the terms and conditions, the number of restrictions make this a near useless benefit.

Bottom Line: Upgrades to suites are the highlight of the benefits offered to Diamond members. Executive lounge access can also come in handy if you’re looking to pick up food and/or drinks in the afternoon during your stay. 

Final Thoughts

With its global footprint, the Hilton Honors program resembles the Marriott Bonvoy program in terms of its global footprint. When you’re traveling domestically in the U.S. or abroad, it’s highly likely you’ll be able to book a stay at a Hilton property.

What’s apparent about the Hilton Honors program is the lack of benefits at each elite tier and the number of points required for award stays. On the elite status front, Silver status leaves much to be desired. Gold status essentially offers free breakfast as its premier benefit and Diamond status comes with space-available upgrades to suites.

With respect to the number of points required, Hilton requires a boatload of points to book stays at its popular properties. Even when taking into account how easy it can be to earn points, 90,000-120,000 points per night doesn’t make one interested in wanting to book a stay.

The way to unlock the most value with minimal cash and time investment is to hold the Hilton Aspire card. The card comes with Diamond elite status, meaning that you can receive all of the benefits of a Diamond member without needing to hit the stays, nights, or points threshold every year.


Frequently asked questions

What is Hilton elite status gifting?

After reaching 60 nights in a calendar year, members will be able to gift Gold status to another member of their choice. When a member reaches 100 nights in a calendar year, the member will be able to gift Diamond status to another member. Gifting of status is only available to 1 member and cannot be changed during the calendar year.

How do you get lifetime Diamond status with Hilton?

There are 2 ways to earn Hilton Honors Lifetime Diamond status:

  • Hilton Honors members who earn 10 total years of Diamond status and have stayed 1,000 paid and/or award nights
  • Hilton Honors members who earn 10 total years of Diamond status and earn 2 million base points

Does Hilton gold status get you free breakfast?

Yes. Hilton Honors Gold status offers free breakfast as an elite benefit.

Can you lose Hilton status?

If a member does not meet the requirements of Silver, Gold, or Diamond status, the member will not re-qualify for their status tier.

Michael McHugh

About Michael McHugh

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Michael took his first international trip in 2013 with friends to the Bahamas. Although he didn't travel much in his younger years, on that trip, he caught the travel bug and has been hooked ever since. Michael first caught wind of the points and miles game in 2014 while at a bar in Washington, DC where the conversation amongst friends was quickly derailed because of an alert on a friend's phone about a mistake fare.  That's where the love affair with points and miles began.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

4 comments

  1. Hilton and their attitude towards status match are appalling. I sent the required 2 documents EXACTLY as the website explains. I heard nothing then submitted a help request. The response was that they could not help, and I needed to e-mail some other “review” e-mail address. I did that, they responded ambiguously that I did not submit “qualifying documents”. What does that mean? That they did not get any attachments? That the attachments I did send did not meet some other standard that the web site did not explain? The ENTIRE tone of the response was they were doing me a favor to even consider my interest in a Diamond status match. She actually went on to write, if I can’t stay enough times in the 90-day window to keep status for a year, that I should consider re-applying when I will be staying more often?
    I stay 200+ nights a year during spring to fall work season. I have Spire Elite, LONG time Diamond Choice Privileges (That is the proof screen grab and the stay receipt I sent) I had 39 nights towards my Diamond status for 2021 before 2020 even started due to rollover from 80 2019 stays.
    The implied arrogance and complete ignorance of the fact that bookings due to COVID are in the toilet right now, and I’m traveling right now, every day, for 6-7 months was astounding. If I was a supervisor in Hilton marketing, I would be retraining or firing this person. They should be saying, “Welcome aboard, we would LOVE to have you!” I will do my best to NEVER stay at a Hilton property again.

    Reply

  2. Will a Hilton Honors reward stay earn an elite night?

    Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written by experts who know these products inside out, and what we recommend is what we would (or already) use ourselves. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. Click here to see a list of advertisers that we work with.